Twain MS teacher finalist for national award

Exterior of Mark Twain Middle School
Twain Middle School on Franconia Road.

A 7th grade math teacher at Twain Middle School has been selected as one of Virginia’s five finalists for the 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Kelly Draeger, who serves as math department chair at Twain, was selected by a review committee convened by the Virginia Department of Education, according to an Fairfax County Public Schools press release.

“Draeger was recognized for developing and implementing a high quality instructional program that improves student learning in math,” the FCPS press release said, adding that she also provided “expertise on a number of division-wide curriculum projects, including helping create quarterly math benchmark assessments, developing intervention materials and activities, and helping create grade-level planning and pacing guides.”

Other nominees from Virginia included Myron Blosser, a biology and biotechnology teacher at Harrisonburg High School, Timothy Colin Bouchillon, an environmental science and capstone research teacher at Manassas Park High School, Rebecca Hall, an algebra I and algebra II teacher at CodeRVA Regional High School in Richmond, and Aziz Zahraoui, a geometry and calculus teacher at Churchland High School in Portsmouth.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which was started by Congress in 1983, is considered the highest government award for K-12 teachers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. The national winners are selected by a National Science Foundation-selected committee made up of mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district level personnel, and classroom teachers.

Winners at the national level are flown to Washington D.C., where they receive a certificate signed by the president and $10,000. Last year’s ceremony was in June.